Chat Room/Open Topic Experiment

let’s try treating this topic like a chatroom and see how it goes.


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is directionlessness going to be an issue?
(also, in something like IRC/discord it’s sometimes common to post multiple short msgs in a row (or fragments of a sentence/paragraph) – discord has limits on some of those things by default (like how many times you can reply in a row). mb makes a proper chatroom experience difficult to recreate.


let’s see

we’ve changed some defaults

maybe won’t come up

that’s a bit vague. an issue for what, exactly?

one thing that would help with a chat atmosphere is if you could see a list people currently viewing the thread, not just those typing

the thread/topic. I guess it’ll be obvious if it does, anyway.

one thing to keep in mind, I’m p sure that mods/admins don’t have the same limits

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Tho I’m pretty sure that I’ve definitely gone over the default limits, now, so probs okay.

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What have you guys been up to over the weekend? I’ve mostly been learning more about indie game marketing and working on our strategy for the game’s release. Will make a thread with more details but it’s been pretty engaging so far. Also starting a new job on Tuesday (Monday is a public holiday here), so looking forward to that. I’ll be working with corporate tax returns and learning how they work.

Interesting. Do you have some kinda background/education in tax stuff? Just curious.

Nope, no background. I applied to the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) for a job opening they had that was more like a call centre job on a 5 month contract. They were hiring a bunch of people because it was a new department formed specifically to deal with fraud and issues with the new benefits for COVID-19. They expected a bunch of increased calls coming in since they had been facing steadily increasing demand for call centre agents.

I worked that job for about 1.5 months when the number of people calling in started steadily declining and now there are lots of agents twiddling their thumbs and taking like 1 call every 30-45 minutes. So they’re moving many of us over to different departments now so that we’re better utilized. I’m being moved over to corporate validations where I’ll get trained in the tax return stuff.

My team leader said he thinks I’ll enjoy the work because it seems like I pick up on stuff fast and he could imagine I’d get bored with the call centre job pretty quickly since it seemed like I was already hitting the skill ceiling on understanding all the possible situations and how to handle them. It seems like the new department has more work available, is a year-round program so is relatively stable (unlike some departments which are more seasonal), and I also just found out that taking this new job will extend my contract further, which is great since it gives me 6 months more of employment than the previous contract. I think there’s also some clause that says if I work at the CRA for a total of 1 year, my position becomes permanent and I’m no longer a contract worker who can be fired at any time. Not sure tho, will need to read my union agreement and stuff.

So all in all I think I came across the position because of a few lucky circumstances lining up well to make it possible. AFAIK the call centre position used to require post-secondary education (a degree), but they relaxed those standards due to the demand they were facing because of COVID-19 and the unprecedented level of general fraud/identity theft happening. This new corporate tax return position is more focused on people with accounting backgrounds/some kind of accreditation, but since I’m already an internal employee it looks like they’re OK with hiring me for it and seeing how I do in training.

In other related news, my team leader spoke with a manager at the new department and mentioned me by name. He said that I had been sending him daily summaries of my work without even being asked to and I was also helping other people out in the team livechat and was doing other proactive stuff like finding errors in our department’s procedures documentation and pointing it out to be corrected. I didn’t realize how much it mattered to him it until he told me, but basically he said I stood out from every other employee because of all these things I was doing without anybody asking me to do them. He gave some very heartfelt appreciation and that surprised me too, saying stuff like he had never worked with someone who was so engaged in the work right out of the gate and improved so much in terms of their call centre statistics over such a short period of time. It felt felt good to hear and I was glad that the stuff I was doing was helping; I was just doing it at the time because it seemed to make sense to do in terms of doing my job well and adding value properly. So it looks like the new manager might already view me positively, which is good news if I stay here long-term since it seems like relationships matter to get referred to certain positions or get promotions etc.

All in all I like this job. It’s more interesting than previous jobs I’ve worked and I like that I don’t have to feel stressed about work or think about it outside of business hours: all of my previous jobs were in real estate and basically the people I worked under were intense and demanded dedication to the work in the sense of working outside of business hours, being available for calls anytime etc. This job also pays 50% more than my previous job which is a nice bonus as well since I can save/invest more while my expenses are relatively low.

(sry if this post ended up being too long for the livechat style haha. I guess even when we were in Discord I tended to write long posts sometimes when I had a bunch to say at once. Maybe I should have just hit enter more though, since in Discord I would usually just be hitting enter every paragraph and then typing some more. I’ll try to do that for future posts in this thread. I think the hotkey to send the message is like Edit: Found it, it’s Ctrl + Enter. That sent the post lol)

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I think this is my first properly structured job in the sense that there’s very little stuff happening that isn’t covered by documentation/regulations (i.e. it’s all by the books). My previous job was a small like 12 person “family business” type environment, so there was a lot more room for interpretation with various rules (e.g. people would come in late or leave early, or take long lunches sometimes or work way overtime sometimes). So the previous job had more flexibility but I think I prefer this structure because the flexibility in the previous job was often used to make me do things I didn’t prefer to do or made me uncomfortable because there were unwritten rules/a kind of pressure in saying no to something I had every right to say no to. Here the lines are much clearer and I can very easily refer to documentation to figure out what I’m allowed to say no to, and so far nobody has even asked me to do anything extra, so all the extra creativity I’ve put in has been voluntary which feels SO MUCH better than when it’s demanded of me.

Also seems like if I get 1-2 years of experience in this department with corporate validations and pick up on stuff quickly, I can leverage that experience to apply for an auditor role in the CRA. Those roles pay like $90k entry level, which is another 50% jump since my current job pays about $60k. It might also be pretty interesting work. The nice thing about the CRA is that they take a lot of alternatives when it comes to college education and accreditation, and they seem to value internal experience and performance quite highly since they’ll have access to all my performance evaluations and can speak to my manager(s) about how I did at each stage of my learning.

They also have a bunch of online courses I can take during work hours to improve my skills which seems like a great resource. I just have to fill out a learning plan detailing which courses I want to take and what skills I want to learn and then discuss it with my manager. Once they approve it, I can learn a bunch from their resources while getting paid for my time spent doing so.

Btw Justin, I remember you mentioning starting your own law consultancy to take more control of your job/income etc. You had a Mallone Law logo and stuff. How’s that going? Have you had any clients yet? Done any marketing/outreach yet? Seemed like an interesting jump to make and possibly a good progression of your career long-term since you’d have more control over who you work with and what kind of work you specialize in and master

FYI I think i mentioned those plans in a private chat. It’s okay to mention publicly, but it might not have been. Should ask beforehand.

Anyways I haven’t done much with it. After pandemic started I kinda put that plan on ice. I am working on something related to it, and have been learning a few things, but it’s been more hobby level overall in terms of time spent than a serious effort.

I’m not sure how he could have known to ask with something that isn’t obviously private.

Hmm. I think my thought was: if someone chooses to only talk about some subject matter in a private chat, then the reasonable conclusion to draw there is that they don’t want to talk about it publicly, for some reason - like they have some reason for choosing the private chat over talking about it publicly, the choice there wasn’t arbitrary. So the specific subject matter in question doesn’t have to be inherently or obviously private in some way - the person gave some indication they wanted to keep it private based on where they chose to discuss it.